Ghost Hunting Isn’t Over – 2016 Rebound

I study ghost hunting trends, just as I study patterns in paranormal research. And, the current ghost hunting trends look better than you might expect.

But, before I get into that topic, maybe I should explain a few things.

You probably know that my thoughts can seem like a weird mix of “what if…?” speculation, and hard facts.

Sure, I believe in things we can’t yet explain. That includes ghosts. But, I also study trends and patterns in every aspect of what I do.

Nobody was happy when, in 2010 (and earlier, but more quietly), I said that the ghost hunting fad was in a decline. It had been faltering since around 2004.

(Okay, a few rabid, skeptical critics were thrilled by the prospective demise of ghost hunting. They missed my real point, but I’m okay with that.)

This weekend, examining the trends and stats of October 2016, I’ve seen something interesting.

Not quite the demise of ghost hunting

Take a look at the following graph. It shows the popularity of Google searches for the phrase “ghost hunting,” from January 2004 to Halloween 2016. (The blue line and grey horizontal bars are from the original. Everything else — the orange dots and black arrows, for example — are mine.)

2004 - 2016 ghost hunting trends
“Ghost hunting” search popularity – a graph courtesy Google Trends

As you can see, the most recent popularity of ghost hunting peaked in 2004. That’s not news.

The subject has been in a decline for years.

Look at the dots

The orange dots mark each October’s search figures. They’re most of what I look at. I see where the peaks are.

Of course, around Halloween, I expect that my website traffic will trend upward, and my book sales will surge.

That’s when I study the trends, to be sure I understand readers’ interests. And, to be certain I’m staying current, I track my numbers against others in the field.

Every October, if my books sell at least as well as other long-time ghost hunters (like “Ghost Hunters” star, Jason Hawes), I figure I’m doing okay.

(Sorry, Jas, but you know I’m always honest. And often tactless. But there it is.)

However, like Jason (and others), I built my first ghost-related website around 1998 (maybe earlier). It was kind of a hobby site, to start with.

And, like the Jason and the TAPS team and other “old-timers,” I’ve never been involved in paranormal research because it was trendy. I do this because I have a passion for it.

But, well, bills must be paid. I need to adjust my priorities and shift my focus so my income continues.

So, I study the trends. In the field of paranormal research, I can share a lot of insights. It’s just a matter of understanding what people want to know, so I prioritize to meet their needs.

Where I get my numbers

To track my readers’ interests, I use a variety of tools, and Google Trends is one of them. That’s what you’re seeing in the graph, above. The line from 2009 to 2014 made clear: during those years, the interest in ghost hunting was fading.

In fact, if you look at the general trend from 2004 to 2014… well, it didn’t look good.

It’s no surprise that ghost hunting TV shows have been cancelled. Ghost hunting websites are vanishing from the Internet, as teams close their doors.

To be honest, my October 2016 website traffic (for EncounterGhosts.com) was 50% higher than it had been in September. I’m pleased to see that kind of traffic.

But book sales…? Not so great. So, I need to make some changes there.

Why I’m optimistic, anyway

Here’s what I’m excited about, the day before Halloween 2016:

Halloween pumpkinComparing ghost hunting searches between October 2014 and October 2015, the line went up.

It’s only a slight increase in interest — you can barely see it — but it’s still an increase.

For those of us who earn a living from work related to ghost hunting, that’s a good thing.

The portion of the Google Trends graph that really excites me is the trend between October 2015 and throughout 2016.

It’s the first year-long “ghost hunting” uptrend I’ve seen in some time.

(Yes, this October’s Halloween-specific search figures are down. I see that. What I’m looking at are the long-term trends… what interests people the rest of the year. And, when it comes to ghost hunting, those numbers are trending up. For the first time in several years.)

I’m not entirely sure what it means, but I have some ideas that I’m exploring, right now.

Of course, the field is changing. That’s a given. It’s normal.

But, over the past few months, I’ve seen some dramatic shifts in interests, related to ghost hunting.

Things are changing in interesting ways

A lot of my friends and fans are still as enthusiastic as ever. I’m grateful for that. (Thank you!)

Many (most?) of the really dramatic shifts are coming from new people in this field. They’re asking really different questions.

(That’s why I stopped selling my 2014 “101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered” book, and started posting its contents — free — as articles at Ghosts101.com. All of the articles will be at that website by mid-December 2016.)

For me, this is energizing. (Right now, I have six tabs open on my browser, as I compare results from various research & trend-related sites I use.)

I know that a lot of people left ghost hunting (professionally, at least) when the in-fighting and exploitation (online, on TV, and in podcasts) became too tawdry and upsetting.

I sat it out, myself. I had no problem being a wallflower during that particular dance. (Growing up geek-y, I’m used to it. <– I’m saying that with a smile.)

But now, the tide hasn’t just turned… the tide is coming in again. And, the long-term search trends at Google prove it.

So, if you thought ghost hunting was taking its last virtual gasp, think again.

Are you making the most of what’s changing?

silly ghost costumeWe can’t do ghost hunting the same way we did back in 2004, or even in 2014.

Well, I suppose some can, and probably will.

Me…? I’m not interested in reliving the “good old days.” The memories are great, but the future beckons.

If you’re involved in ghost hunting — especially as a professional — take a good look at what’s happening.

This is more than just exciting. It’s exhilarating.

Happy Halloween (and happy Samhain, if you celebrate it)!

2017 is going to be a good, fun year for ghost hunting. I’m getting ready for it, right now. There will be changes, and some of them will be abrupt.

For me, the time between Halloween and early February are my “rest, review, and plan” months. I see where I’ve been, what’s working (and isn’t), and what changes I’ll make in the upcoming year.

What are your thoughts? I’m interested. Leave a comment, below.

A Beginner’s Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries

If you’re a beginner interested in investigating haunted cemeteries, I’ve written a book for you.

It’s short. It gets straight to the point. It tells you what you need to know to get started in ghost hunting, especially at haunted cemeteries.

It’s my first book in a planned series specifically for beginning ghost hunters.

Here’s what happened in 2016

This year, I started a new “Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries” book series. I’m writing it for intermediate and advanced investigators. That series explains how to get the research results that experienced ghost hunters want.

In each of those books, I skip the basics.

Instead, I explain the best ways to find and investigate eerie, off-the-beaten-path cemeteries.

But then…

A Beginner's Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, by Fiona BroomeAlmost immediately, several readers asked me to write something for beginners.

They’re first-time ghost hunters.

They need short, clear, how-to guides to get started. They’re reading my websites, like Ghosts 101 and Encounter Ghosts, but they want more focused, how-to information.

They want location-specific instructions that will produce genuine results.

So, I’ve written A Beginner’s Guide to Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries. It’s a quick-start guide.

This is a short book, around 7,500 words. Most people can read it in about two hours, maybe less.

At its release in October 2016, it’s 99 cents in Kindle, and free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers. (That may change in the future. If you want the lowest prices on my books, leap at the 99-cent price while it’s available.)

In this book, I explain…

  • How to assemble an informal team.
  • Where to find a good cemetery to investigate.
  • Easy ways to get the best results from your first ghost hunt in a haunted cemetery.

Find it at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and other Amazon booksellers.

How to Find Haunted Cemeteries

Do you want to find haunted cemeteries?

You probably know that I’ve written a lot about haunted cemeteries. I’ve been researching them for over 20 years.

Here are a few of my articles on the subject:

The first book in my new series, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, is at Amazon.

This new series is based on my previous book of the same name. It’s for intermediate & advanced ghost hunters.

For this series, I’m breaking topics into individual, shorter books with a narrow focus and lots of information.

I expect to write most of this series during 2017, but the first book is available in time for Halloween research in 2016.

How to Find Haunted CemeteriesPlanned titles include:

  1. Ghost Hunting: Why Cemeteries?
  2. How to Find Haunted Cemeteries
  3. How to Evaluate Haunted Cemeteries
  4. How to Find Haunted Graves
  5. How to Investigate Haunted Cemeteries

Each is a stand-alone book. You can read them in any order, and skip any that don’t interest you.

My publisher releases them in the order they’re ready for print. (At the moment, the guide to finding haunted cemeteries is in the Kindle bookstore.)

When they’re first released, each book will retail for 99 cents — free for Kindle Unlimited readers — except for “Ghost Hunting: Why Cemeteries?”

When the series is complete, all of the books will be available individually.

But, they’ll also be compiled into a box set for Kindle, as well as a print edition.

Buy it now at Amazon.comLearn more about How to Find Haunted Cemeteries at:

101 Ghost Hunting Questions Answered

I’m revising 101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered. It’s a major project.

It’s 2016. In the past few years, ghost hunting has changed. A lot.

People are asking different questions. They expect different answers.

Meanwhile, the contents of my 2014 book — listing 101 ghost-related questions, with answersis arriving at Ghosts101.com.

opening doorEach question is a new article.

The questions are divided into four categories: ghost hunting, ghostly encounters, ghosts and other spirits, and haunted places. That way, you can read what interests you, and skip the rest.

I’m adding the articles gradually, making minor edits as I go along.

Every few days, you’ll see one or two new articles at Ghosts101.com, until all the Q&As are there.

  • In most cases, the contents are are same as the 2014 book.
  • I’m revising references and updating anything really outdated.
  • Also, I’m replacing irrelevant questions, mostly related to TV shows. I’ll fill in with other questions & answers. (I have several that wouldn’t fit the original “101 questions” book limit. So, I’m adding them as I delete others.)

Meanwhile, I’m working on a new series of questions & answers, for a new series of short and focused “Ghosts 101” books.  The first book should be available in Kindle, late in 2016.

Divider graphic

Here’s the original article that appeared at this website:

As of October 15, 2014, the new, larger, updated edition of 101 Ghost Hunting Questions, Answered is available.

I’ve made many changes in this book, and I’ve added more current insights. I think I caught most typos and repaired them. (If you find a new one, let me know.)

101GHQs-O14-250hThe original book was written, in haste, in 2012. I wrote it to answer the top 101 questions I’ve been asked in comments and email. Many are beginner-level questions. Others are intermediate-to-advanced.

I focus on getting started in ghost hunting, choosing equipment, and which locations are best for beginners (and a few best for those with nerves of steel). I talk about the popular side of ghost hunting, sharing insider views of TV shows, movies, and books.  Also, I’m honest about what we don’t know… and questions we may never be able to answer.)

I share my views of what’s next, and offer some radical, kind of geeky suggestions. ( Such as: Blinking flashlights might lead us to our biggest breakthroughs, if technology proceeds as predicted.)

In most cases, I answer questions very seriously. Others include humorous, slightly sarcastic comments. I hope the difference is clear.

If you’ve wanted to become a ghost hunter — for fun or as a career — you’ll find useful insights among the answers in this book.

Ghosts Then and Now

This is a one-and-a-half page handout from one of my Dragon Con presentations about ghost hunting.  In it, I highlighted some key events that contributed to ghost hunting and research as we know it in the early 21st century.

This isn’t a complete listing, but it’s a good starting point for anyone who’d like to track the history of ghost hunting and how beliefs have informed today’s investigations and views of the spirit world.

GhostsThenNow2014.pdf